NEW YORK (AP/KXAN) — Texans traveling to New York, Connecticut and New Jersey will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival due to rising coronavirus infection rates, according to a joint statement from the three states’ governors on Wednesday.
Texas was included in the requirement along with eight other states — Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington and Utah.
“I probably wouldn’t put myself in that position,” Deena Turner of Austin said before boarding a flight at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
“We now have to make sure the rates continue to drop,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday at a video briefing with Govs. Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut, both fellow Democrats. “We also have to make sure the virus doesn’t come on a plane again.”
Visitors from states over a set infection rate will have to quarantine, Cuomo said.
What was presented as a “travel advisory” affects three adjacent Northeastern states that after time were able to check the spread of the virus this spring as New York City became a hot spot for the pandemic.
Those governors are now warily eying other states with rising caseloads, trying to keep history from repeating itself.
“This is a smart thing to do,” Murphy said. “We have taken our people, the three of us … to hell and back. The last thing we need to do right now is subject our folks to another round.”
On May 21, Gov. Greg Abbott lifted travel restrictions to Texas from areas with high COVID-19 infections, and they included New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Those restrictions had been in place starting April 27.
The states’ health departments will provide details of how the rule will work, Murphy said. Visitors to New York from affected states will be informed that they need to quarantine and that violators could face a mandatory quarantine and a fine, Cuomo said.
The quarantine is voluntary but “urgent guidance,” Lamont said at a briefing in Hartford, noting it will be enforced differently in each state. Connecticut is considering putting up signs at entry points and getting the word out via social media.
Some in Austin believe the orders go too far.
“When I talk to business associates in New York, they’re not happy about it either,” Mike Lawrence said before boarding a flight to Arizona. “They would prefer that I come in, do business, and leave.”
The announcement comes as summer travel to the states’ beaches, parks and other attractions — not to mention New York City — would normally swing into high gear.